Team members should collaborate with each other to optimize the likelihood of project success. However, collaboration does not always come easily to today's busy and in many cases virtual project teams. Here are some tips to help.
1. Give the team a common purpose
The first step is to set the direction for the project with a Project Charter. This document describes the scope of the project, the goals to be met and the timeframes for delivery. Each team member must understand the purpose of the project and how their work helps achieve success. Then you can ensure that everyone is on the same page. Remember, collaboration is all about bringing individuals together to form a team. By giving them a common direction, you're already on the right track.
2. Pair them up
When you create your schedule, purposely assign multiple people to the same tasks where appropriate, pairing them up to work together. That way, your team are forced to work together on common tasks, helping them to overcome any previous boundaries or communication difficulties. Make sure people only do work that is in the schedule, so you can stay within scope. You need to create "one boat, one team, all rowing in the same direction."
3. Give them the right tools
Make it easy for your team to work together by giving them a toolset that allows them to:
Store all their files online in one place.
Discuss project tasks, issues and timeframes.
Message one-another when they need to see each other's activity so they know what's happening
View tasks, calendars and plans online
Technology today can enable collaboration. Use it wisely.
4. Promote collaboration
You also need to promote collaboration within your team personally. Reward and recognize great collaboration behavior when you see it. If you see team members communicating effectively online, reward them for it in front of the team.
By giving your team a solid direction, the right tools at their fingertips and reinforcing great behavior, you can take a fragmented group of individuals and turn them on to the high performing team.
Get your project started quickly with a pre-built set of great project management templates.
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